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UCLA/VA partners with ASU to advance biosensor technology for urinary tract infections
Date:9/12/2007

otype, called PATHOSENSE, within the time frame of the grant. At the conclusion of the grant period, the team hopes to work with GeneFluidics for near-term deployment of the PATHOSENSE instrument in multicenter clinical testing. By combining our expertise, we will be able to bring outstanding pathogen screening products to health care professionals, said Dr. Vincent Gau, president of GeneFluidics. Using GeneFluidics proprietary electrochemical platform as the backbone of our tests allows for very high sensitivity and for a streamlined system that delivers antibiotics resistance results in record time two hours instead of two-to-three days.

The technology relies on the ability to detect the genetic signature of a bacterial pathogen. The researchers will use 16S rRNA, a ribosomal molecule found in all bacteria, to identify the bacteria species. The research team will focus on enhancing the performance and validation of the electrochemical biosensor assay and will develop an antimicrobial susceptibility test to rapidly select the best antibiotic for treatment.

Our mission is to create a new technology to solve an old problem, which is the diagnosis of urinary tract infections the second most common bacterial infection in a clinically relevant time frame, said Dr. Bernard Churchill, chief of pediatric urology at the Clark-Morrison Childrens Urological Center at UCLA.

In current laboratory practice, pathogens in urine specimens are grown in culture dishes until they can be visually identified. The major drawback of this century-old technique is the two-day time lag between specimen collection and bacteria identification. As a result, physicians must decide whether to prescribe antibiotic therapy and, if so, which antibiotic to use all without knowing the actual cause of the infection, if any. In contrast, the new biosensor technology would allow physicians to prescribe targeted treatment without the wait.

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Contact: Amy Albin
aalbin@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-8672
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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